Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has urged the All Progressive Congress (APC) to ensure the registration of at least 70% of South East population in its ongoing registration and revalidation exercise.
Addressing the party faithful in Owerri , Uzodimma informed them that their numerical strength will assist them to plan ahead and that “the same strength will also assist in the conduct of party primaries and every other exercise that will have to do with membership of the party.”
He emphasized that the numerical strength of each state or zone will surely go a long way in determining the bargaining strength of the zone even though no one expects the party membership of every state or zone to be the same.
The Governor told the members that the party attaches great importance to the revalidation exercise expected to last up to March 15, 2021 having started in Kastina with President Muhammadu Buhari performing the flag-off ceremony on Saturday January 30, 2021.
Governor Uzodimma reiterated his earlier call on the South East to return to the mainstream government at the centre which is controlled by the APC, insisting that “the only way the South East can achieve that is through her membership strength that will define their bargaining power in the forth coming general election.”
He said: “We cannot achieve our dream of a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction by remaining outside the mainstream national politics. Even more importantly we cannot get the justice we seek from the federation by playing opposition politics”.
He therefore asked the leaders to see it as their responsibility and go all out to participate in the registration and revalidation exercise to make the statement loud and clear that the South East is set to take her rightful position as members of the ruling party.
The Governor did not mince words to inform the mammoth APC crowd that Imo State is already reaping bountifully from being part of the ruling party and the attendant proper reconnection to National political grid.
This, he said, is manifest on the massive road construction of both federal and state roads in the State which is as a result of support from the Federal Government.
He reassured those who have expressed fears that this exercise will be used against them that they have nothing to worry about. He said: “The exercise is not intended to witch hunt anyone. No leader has any power to prevent anyone from been registered or revalidated.”
Rather, Governor Uzodimma called on the APC faithful to use the exercise to strengthen their bond of unity. “Our goal is to build a strong and united party in the South East that will continue to offer quality service and democracy dividends to the people,” he said.
Earlier in their various addresses, the South East member in the National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ken Nnamani said that “the registration and revalidation has become necessary to truly know who is of APC and who is not and ensure that APC is not cut napping in the web of new and emerging electoral act that may be determined by numerical strength of various political powers.”
He therefore enjoined leaders at all levels to see the exercise as important and mobilize their members to be part of it.
The Deputy Chief Whip in the National Assembly, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejiocha advised the leaders to ensure they mobilize women to register as they are the most assured electorate at the actual days of election.
She reemphasized that there is no way the South East will be clamouring for a President of Igbo extraction without showing through their numerical strength that they are truly members of the ruling party.
In his welcome address, the APC Chairman in Imo State, Chief Marcon Nlemigbo assured the visitors and all present that the State is ready for the programme and that APC is one, hence nobody should express fear of marginalization or exclusion, “rather all hands should be on deck to achieve a successful exercise.”